10 Quick Decluttering Tasks to Support a Restful Summer

Follow this easy checklist to keep your house tidy this vacation season and beyond

Summer is in full swing and it’s time to enjoy it. As a professional organizer, I’ve found that for my clients (as well as for myself), a clean, clutter-free, organized environment makes for a tranquil environment. One way to make your home a place where you can relax, rejuvenate and recharge is to stay on top of small cleaning and decluttering tasks. Here are the quick daily tasks I recommend to set the stage for easy summertime living.

8 Unusual Ways to Display Your Indoor Plants

Houseplants add color and personality to any room. If you want to make yours even more unique, check out these crafty ideas to showcase your plants in style.

How to Choose a Ceiling Fan for Comfort and Style

Pros share what fan size to buy, what blade angle to look for and which type works with your ceiling height

Ceiling fans make great additions to the home year-round. They cool us down in summer and warm us up in winter. New features and technologies mean they’re more energy-efficient than ever, and design updates have led to some pretty stylish models. 

Personal preference plays a big role when buying a ceiling fan, and it’s always helpful to discuss your needs with a professional. To help you get started, check out the following tips from experts on how to choose a ceiling fan, including determining the right ceiling fan size and the optimal hanging distance from the ceiling.

6 Ways Seniors Can Prevent Falls

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

From guest columnist Patrick Young http://ableusa.info/

A senior is treated in the emergency room for a fall every 11 seconds. What’s more worrisome, a senior dies from a fall every 19 minutes. While these statistics are scary, there are things you and your family can do to help prevent falls from happening. Ranging from lifestyle changes to home modifications, here are some of the main ways seniors can prevent falls.

Exercise

Regular exercise helps maintain muscle mass, balance, and flexibility, which, in turn, increases mobility and significantly decreases the risk of falling. There are plenty of exercises you can do at home to help your chances of falling, but fitness classes also come with the benefit of socialization and supervised training.

If you are a Medicare subscriber, you may be eligible for Silver Sneakers, a program that provides access to 13,000 fitness centers across the country. Many Medicare Advantage plans, including those by Humana, offer this perk. If your plan doesn’t cover this, you could consider switching to one that does during the next enrollment period.

Decluttering

Many seniors have a tendency to let their stuff accumulate as time goes by, which often results in a borderline hoarding situation. This is not only unpleasant, but it is also potentially deadly.

Clutter greatly increases the risk of tripping over something, so a big decluttering session is a matter of health as well as aesthetics. Even better, a more minimalist home is also a healthier environment for your lungs and your mental health.

Grab Bars

It may not seem like it, but the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house, as water, soap, and smooth porcelain make for a huge slipping hazard. One of the easiest ways to counter this is to install grab bars next to the bathtub, shower, and toilet. A plastic non-slip mat on the bathtub or shower floor can also be a big help.

Non-Slip Flooring

This is an obvious one, but it’s still worth mentioning. Certain floors are more prone to cause a slip or trip than others, so it’s a good idea to take stock of the flooring in the house. The Spruce recommends softer materials that will somewhat cushion a fall if it does happen, and in particular warns against tile, which is hard, potentially slippery, and easy to trip over.

You should also watch out for rugs on hard floors, which can easily slip or bunch up. Use double-sided carpet tape to keep them in place. Also, any elevated transitions between rooms should be flattened to reduce the odds of tripping.

Lighting

Poor lighting is a huge fall hazard since it increases the risk of tripping over unobserved objects. Luckily, it is also one of the easiest to remedy. Simply make sure that all areas of the house have adequate lighting at all times of day, with particular focus on heavy-traffic areas like hallways. Note that adequate doesn’t necessarily mean bright — you want even, consistent, preferably indirect light, rather than anything with a strong glare.

Nutrition

The link between nutrition and falls may not be obvious, but it is very much there. A lack of appropriate nutrients can make falls more likely by reducing strength and balance, and they can also make a fall more dangerous by making bones more fragile. Furthermore, a lack of Vitamin D has been directly linked to increased fall risk, and a lack of vitamins that help eyesight can cause similar problems when faced with poor lighting.

Making sure seniors are consuming a balanced and nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy body weight, and taking any necessary vitamin supplements will further protect them from falls.

Prevention is easy and pain-free — treating a fall is not. The above steps have the potential to not only make a senior’s life safer and more comfortable but to outright save it. The best part is that many of them also come with additional mental and physical health benefits, further improving a senior’s quality of life.

10 Ways to Live With a Smaller Carbon Footprint

Take these simple steps to reduce your energy use and cut back on waste

From the first disposable coffee cup of the morning to the drive home in rush-hour traffic, many things we do daily have an effect on the planet. But looking at the big picture can be overwhelming — where can we begin? Choosing to make a few impactful shifts at home to shrink your carbon footprint is a great place to start. Read on for 10 doable ways to reduce your carbon impact, and save a little cash along the way to boot.

A Designer’s Top 10 Tips for Increasing Home Value


These suggestions for decorating, remodeling and adding storage will help your home stand out on the market

Unless my clients are designing their forever home, they are usually quite concerned with resale value when discussing renovations big and small. A home is often a person’s largest asset, so design upgrades are not only an aesthetic decision but a financial one as well. As my clients have sold their homes over the years, I have found that these 10 design tips have been the most beneficial in helping their houses stand out from the pack.

10 Smart Ideas From Beautifully Organized Garages

With coat cubbies, folding counters and other elements, these spaces do a lot more than store a car

Your garage likely has to hold everything from gardening and sports equipment to holiday decorations — not to mention a car. With such a big job to do, it’s no wonder this hardworking space can get a little (or a lot) disorganized. Gather inspiration from these beautifully arranged spaces, and pick and choose from 10 takeaways to get your own garage in shape.

To-Dos: Your April Home Checklist

Kick spring cleaning into high gear, and troubleshoot cooling and irrigation systems for the warmer months ahead

With lengthening days and milder temperatures in many parts of the country, April is a wonderful time to freshen up the home inside and out. To get sparkling windows, a clutter-free garage and more, here are 16 tasks to make the most of the first full month of spring.

How To Choose Dog Breeds For Apartment Living

Do you want a dog, but worry about how your pooch will adapt to apartment living? Choose an apartment dog breed, and you won’t have to stress. There are plenty of breeds that are just fine with watching Netflix while you’re at work.  If you’re lucky, you might even get a couple of tail wags when you get home.